The images that most resonate with Scott are those that are imperfect, that have irregular lines, shapes, and forms, but are not chaotic. He looks for compositions that combine at least a few elements of lines and shapes with metaphorical references. The aging bodies of old trucks, buses, and railroad cars have provided him with a treasure of unique images.
Tom O Scott is best known for his award winning images of sand patterns created by the receding tides. These images are like mandalas: they occur when there is a very high tide at night, followed by a very low tide in the morning. As soon as the next tide comes in, the patterns are washed away. Only a few beaches have the right mix of minerals in the sand to give required contrast. Scott started his career in abstraction with this genre, using both digital and film cameras.
In the winter, the storm surges wash the sand out to sea, leaving thousands of rocks. The rich mineral colors in the sand tend to disappear. Sand flies in their pupal stage break through the surface and create a richly textured tableau. Naturally occurring oils magnify contrast. Tom combines form and texture with imagination to create these expressionist abstracts.
As it ages, the glass uses in trucks and buses cracks and bubbles, creating an organic mix of shapes and patterns. Most of Scott's Glass Abstracts are just a few inches square, but when they are enlarged, a rich image is revealed.
For years, Scott walked along the beaches of North County San Diego searching for the best additions to his Sand Vision portfolios. One day, when there was nothing unusual on the beach, he started searching amongst the boulders at the base of the cliffs. There he found a new treasury of images, created by the sand left by the waves crashing on the rocks. This became the basis of the Sand Vision portfolio.